Commentaries & Articles
Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan: A Wave of Change or Continuation of Nazarbayev’s Era?
Kazakhstan’s deteriorating socio-economic situation and an increasing gap in living standards have led to the protests and demonstrations. As some reports have suggested, the Soviet era founder President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has resigned as President on 20 March 2019 fearing a backlash against his recent economic policies. The resignation has paved the way for smooth transition of power in Kazakhstan.1 After his resignation, one of his most loyal aide Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Chair of the Senate, was nominated as interim President.
Leveraging India’s Civilisational Ethos
Less than a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second swearing-in, the ongoing celebrations for the fifth iteration of the International Yoga Day1 (IYD) offer an excellent opportunity to consider how the grand narrative that he unveiled in 2014 will continue to drive his foreign policy over the next five years. IYD was one of the earliest and among the most significant of Modi’s diplomatic successes from his first term.
Xi’s visit to North Korea: what did it achieve?
The visit by Xi Jinping to North Korea on June 20-21, 2019 is significant because a Chinese President reached Pyongyang after 14 years. This year also marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the neighbours. Xi made the trip with his wife Peng Liyuan, foreign minister Wang Yi, the top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi and head of the National Development and Reform Commission, He Lifeng.1
Changing Paradigm in India-Bhutan Relations
Bhutan is an important neighbour and recently appointed India’s External Minister S. Jaishankar chose to visit Bhutan for two days (7th-8th June) as his maiden bilateral visit. This visit facilitated the tradition of regular visits and exchange of views at the highest level between the two countries. PM Narendra Modi in his earlier tenure introduced the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ and had also chosen Bhutan as the destination of his first foreign visit in 2014. In 2018, the newly elected Prime Minister of Bhutan Dr.
Moreh-Tamu: An Unfulfilled Potential
For India, Myanmar is a vital neighbour, located at a cusp connecting the region of South Asia to Southeast Asia. In the wake of India’s increasing engagement with the Southeast Asian neighours including the ASEAN countries, the Myanmar connect is rather significant. From strategic partnership to trade to cultural links, the connections have increased over time. Indian outreach has been both through the regional platform as well as bilateral framework and the tiers of meetings and trade figures bear testimony to that commitment.
Deepening Challenges for the Ghani Government
The second round of intra-Afghan talks was concluded on 29 May 2019 in Moscow on the centenary of Russia-Afghanistan diplomatic relations during which the Taliban has once again refused the demand for a ceasefire.1 The courting of the Taliban in the recent times by all the major countries such as US, Russia, China, as well as other gulf and European countries has come as a harsh blow to the democratically elected government in Kabul.
What does recent sentencing of its officials tell about the Pakistan Army redefining the contours of ‘nationalism’?
Two former senior army officials and a civilian working for what the army termed as "sensitive organization" were awarded rigorous sentences under the Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act on charges of espionage. While Lt. Gen (Retd) Javed Iqbal was handed over life imprisonment of fourteen years, Brigadier (Retd) Raja Rizwan and Dr. Wasim Akram were handed death penalties.1 Unconfirmed reports of their arrests began trickling in since this February, but it took more than three months for the army to confirm this. Since Lt.
VIF News Digest
Defense, National Security and Terrorism, VIF Alerts
June 26, 2019
VIF News Digest: National Security, Defence Studies and Terrorism, 1-15 June, 2019

Defence: Shri Rajnath Singh Assumes Office of the Defence Minister; Visit of Chief of the Air Staff to Sweden; IAF AN-32...

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International Development
June 21, 2019
VIF News Digest: International Developments - US, Russia, EU and Africa, 4 - 18 June, 2019

UNITED STATES A new migrant surge at the Border, this one from Central Africa: New York Times, 16 June 2019 Migrants from...

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Neighbourhood News
June 27, 2019
VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: June 27, 2019

AFGHANISTAN Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrives in Pakistan for two-day visit: Dawn June 27, 2019 Afghan President Ashraf...

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